Brandi Brown is the founder of HYPE Freedom School summer camps located at Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church. HYPE is a six-week, tuition-free, literacy and enrichment program for youth in the Sunnyside/Southeast part of Houston.
"My favorite part about the program is helping our children create a sense of pride by helping them know who they are and to believe in themselves. Our goal is to help them understand that they can accomplish anything. So many times our children are told that they cannot do anything. It is important that we teach these children that they can do anything that they choose to do."
"The other part of the program that I love is how it gives us a chance to help connect our community with a quality program. There are so many churches that want to help. They have a desire to make a difference in the community, but often they do not have the resources or people to be able to do that. This is God's work."
After asking for Brandi's opinion on if the children that attend this school are being encouraged to learn how to read at home by their parents, she said, "Freedom schools are giving us a chance to introduce that to them. Prior to them coming to our program, families did not know."
“The more you read, the better you become at it. Freedom Schools give us a chance to help our parents understand how to be better advocates for themselves and how to be better advocates for their children. We help our parents see that they are the true experts in helping their children to learn," said Brandi.